Richard A. Friedlander


Richard A. Friedlander focuses his practice on construction, real estate, complex commercial litigation, and title and escrow disputes, as well as an active ADR practice. Mr. Friedlander is an experienced mediator and arbitrator handling matters in Arizona and throughout the Southwest. Recognized in Best Lawyers in America for his Alternative Dispute Resolution work, Mr. Friedlander has mediated hundreds of disputes involving construction, real property, title, contract, bankruptcy, insurance, escrow, lending and other complex civil cases. He frequently is selected as an arbitrator (including acting as a panel chair in large multi-party disputes) for construction and commercial disputes. In addition, Mr. Friedlander has been selected to be on the American Arbitration Association’s construction, commercial, mediation, joint venture and master mediation construction panels.

Mr. Friedlander’s construction practice generally involves large, complex, multi-party construction matters and the representation of owners (including public owners), design professionals, general contractors and subcontractors, and consultants in both court and ADR proceedings. His construction experience includes a broad spectrum of commercial projects, including disputes involving highways, sewer/wastewater facilities, schools, hospitals, shopping centers, hotels, office buildings (public and private), jails, and airport projects. Mr. Friedlander has a broad background and experience in drafting and negotiation of construction contracts for all types of private, public and commercial projects.

Education & Credentials


University of California, Berkeley

B.A., 1966

Northwestern University School of Law

J.D., 1969

Bar Admission

  • Arizona


  • Selected for inclusion AAA’s Construction, Commercial, Mediation, Joint Venture, and Master Mediator Construction Panel (in AZ, NM, OK and TX)
  • Selected for inclusion by the AzBusiness Leaders Magazine - Alternative Dispute Resolution (2016-2018)
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America (Construction, ADR)
  • Selected "Litigation - Construction Lawyer of the Year" for 2015, 2017 for Phoenix, AZ by Best Lawyers in America 
  • Selected "Lawyer of the Year" in Best Lawyers - Arbitration (2013)
  • Named "Construction Lawyer of the Year" for 2011 for Phoenix, AZ by Best Lawyers in America
  • Listed in Southwest Super Lawyers (ADR)
  • Selected for Construction (2019) by Azbusiness Leaders Magazine

Prominent Assignments

Representing a subcontractor pursuing a significant changed condition/differing site excavation claim on the $1.8 billion Las Vegas Raiders Stadium. 

Represented the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in a dispute with a contractor and its surety relating to delays in the completion of the new 122-room Arizona Wing addition, including the pursuit of bad faith claims against the surety.

Acted as lead counsel on a jury trial representing Del Monte’s North American operations in a dispute over a refrigeration system for its ammonia cooling/distribution center in Goodyear, Arizona.

Represented the owner of large apartment project (located Salt Lake City, Utah) in litigation involving defective construction disputes.

Successfully represented APC-T&K Joint Venture (a general contractor) and its surety in numerous lawsuits with owners and subcontractors over the construction of several waste treatment facilities.

Represented a large national general contractor in litigation with regard to disputes over the construction of piers and caissons for the new parking structure at the airport in Phoenix, Arizona.

Represented Daw Technologies, Inc. in litigation with Motorola on its MOS 12 ("clean room") project in Chandler, Arizona.

Acted as counsel for the Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. (“AEPCO”) with regard to disputes with the general contractor over the construction of a new Combustion Waste Disposal Facility for its Apache Station located in Cochise County, Arizona, and also pursued AEPCO’s claims against a surety over the construction of a cooling tower and with other contractor/subcontractor claims.

Frequently acted as counsel for John C. Lincoln Health Network and Phoenix Children’s Hospital regarding various construction activities at their various facilities.

Represented Navajo County Community College a/k/a Northland Pioneer College in pursuit of claims against the general contractor, architect and soils engineer for the faulty construction of a building structure which was failing and was a total loss.

Represented an owner of a major hotel chain with respect to various aspects of the construction of two of its hotels.

Represented an owner in the construction of a major apartment project (HUD BSPRA; 341 units) in litigation with the prime contractor and subsequently pursued the surety for bad faith in the handling of its payment and performance bond obligations.

Frequently acted as counsel for numerous owners in the construction of condominium, apartment, resort, office building and medical building projects throughout Arizona, in other states, and in other countries.

Successfully represented the apron/taxi general contractor at the International Concourse at Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix, Arizona, concerning litigation with the City of Phoenix and other contractors over water leakage problems with a below grade structure.

Obtained a substantial settlement for an owner of a shopping center in Sedona, Arizona, suffered damages to one of its restaurants, through the collapse of the subsoil supporting the restaurant and worked with the engineers designing the remedial fix and successfully prosecuted an action against the general contractor, architect and civil engineer for the project.

Pursued claims for a subcontractor to PCL Construction Services, Inc. in a Request for Equitable Adjustment against the United States Bureau of Reclamation concerning the construction of the Visitor Center and Parking Structure at Hoover Dam.

Represented an owner of a hotel built on a plateau against a contractor who installed and compacted the fills and slopes causing major slope failures, instability and erosion problems and the collapse of other support areas for the project site.

Acted as litigation counsel for a number of well-known general contractors, including McCarthy Western Contractors, McCarthy Building Companies, Chanen Construction Company, Summit Builders, Nesbitt Contractors, Johnson-Carlier, Inc., Meinecke-Johnson Company, G. R. Walton General Contractors, W. M Grace Construction Company, Ball, Ball & Brosamer, Inc., PCL Construction Services, Inc., G.R. Walton, and Kitchell Contractors.

Handled numerous bid protests involving various public agencies and political subdivisions such as (i) the construction of the new Phoenix City Hall Project; (ii) the remodel of Terminal 4 at Sky Harbor International Airport; (iii) a contract to supply UNIX computer workstations to numerous State agencies with the Arizona State Department of Administration; (iv) a wastewater treatment plant located in Cave Creek, Arizona; and (v) a bridge project on the Interstate Highway with the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Frequently acted as neutral arbitrator and mediator for various ADR organizations and in other private ADR processes in major construction and commercial disputes.

Represented a contractor on a multi-million dollar smelter modification project involving significant and complex delay, cardinal change, acceleration and extra claims.

Represented a national construction company involving the construction of a multi-million dollar hotel project in northern Virginia for a national hotel chain.

Handled litigation over disputes involving the construction of wastewater treatment plants in the City of Benson and the City of El Mirage.

Represented the general contractor in disputes over the construction of offsite and onsite improvements for a large residential project in northern Arizona.

Represented a major engineering and construction consulting firm in resolving audit issues with the Arizona School Facilities Board concerning management of a number of school construction projects.

Represented an international construction consulting company in defense of malpractice/RICO claims involving millions of dollars in an action pending in the federal District Court of Nevada. This action arose from services the consulting company provided to a contractor and its surety involving construction disputes with a subcontractor and the government on a project at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

Represented an engineering design company (Engineering-Science, Inc.), a subsidiary at that time of one of the largest engineering company in the United States (The Parson Corporation), in claims arising from design and construction management of a $40,000,000 wastewater treatment plant and construction of its related sewer lines in the City of Sedona. One of the contractors installing portions of the sewer lines filed a $7,000,000 claim with the City of Sedona concerning in part the activities and conduct of Engineering-Science, Inc. as the designer and construction manager for the project.

Represented Parsons-ESI in litigation pending in Coconino County, Arizona relating to its design activities involving sewer/water lines.

Represented an architectural firm Cornoyer-Hedrick, Inc. in litigation to recover unpaid fees against a large regional hospital system and also defended Cornoyer-Hedrick, Inc in various lawsuits.

Represented an underground contractor in the construction of a large underground water system that had leaking linings. Suit was brought against the design architect, the lining manufacturer, and the subcontractor claiming negligence in the design of the lining (its capacity), the sealing of the lining, and the compaction of the soil under the lining.

Recovered a substantial settlement for several general contractors in the construction of a Sanitary District project in Arizona City, Arizona including claims against both the project engineer and even the attorneys for the Sanitary District.

Represented a college in litigation against the soils engineer and architect for the negligent design of a new school building structure that was a total loss.

Professional Involvement

  • Charter Member, Arizona Chapter of National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals
  • Served as Judge Pro Tempore for both the Maricopa County Superior Court and Arizona Court of Appeals
  • Chairman of the Arizona State Bar Disciplinary Committee for over 8 years
  • American Arbitration Association’s - New Joint Venture Panel

Community Involvement

  • Board Member, John C. Lincoln Health Network, and a member of numerous network committees and is the former Chairman of the Board (2004-2006)


Over the years, Mr. Friedlander has written numerous articles and lectured extensively for private organizations and State Bar Continuing Legal Education programs on various construction issues, including bid disputes, construction damages, construction claims and defenses, design defects, implied warranties, arbitration, mediation, RUAA v. FAA, litigation, use and cross-examination of experts, constructive change orders, terminations, equitable adjustment claims, construction lawyer malpractice and legal ethics.
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